The long in-the-works prequel to the beloved children's movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has been given a release date (though it's far enough off to be considered a bit of a hand wave). Currently titled Wonka, it's set to hit theaters on March 17, 2023.
Variety reports that the movie will be produced by David Heyman of the Harry Potter series. The script comes from Seth Rich, who oversaw the transformation of his short story "Sell Out" into the Seth Rogen film An American Pickle.
There are precious few details about the movie beyond the fact that Warner Bros. will distribute it and it's due out in three Marches from now. The last take on the character came in the form of Johnny Depp's culturally reviled but commercially successful gloomy recluse. The 2004 film gave Wonka a dark backstory, wherein he grew up with a dentist father who was fanatical in his crusade against sweets. Whether Rich's Wonka will stick to this version of events, dig into the Roald Dahl story to show Wonka's early travels in Loompaland, or take some different tack entirely remains to be seen. Whatever route they take, they won't be alone in mining the story for new content.
Netflix is in the process of producing two separate animated series based in the world of Wonka. The shows are headed up by comedic director and Marvel Cinematic Universe mainstay (and budding Star Wars auteur) Taika Waititi. "The shows will retain the quintessential spirit and tone of the original story while building out the world and characters far beyond the pages of the Dahl book for the very first time,” the streaming service shared in a statement.